➦In 1922...Albert James "Alan" Freed was born in Johnstown, PA (Died – January 20, 1965). He became internationally known for promoting the mix of blues, country, rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll. His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that hit the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.
Freed is commonly referred to as the "father of rock 'n' roll" due to his promotion of the style of music, and his introduction of the phrase "rock and roll", in reference to the musical genre, on mainstream radio in the early 1950s. He helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by black artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences. Freed appeared in several motion pictures as himself. In the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock, Freed tells the audience that "rock and roll is a river of music which has absorbed many streams: rhythm and blues, jazz, ragtime, cowboy songs, country songs, folk songs. All have contributed greatly to the big beat."
In 1945 Alan Freed joined WAKR and became a local favorite, playing hot jazz and pop recordings. The radio editor for the Akron Beacon Journal followed Freed and his "Request Review" nightly program of dance. When he left the station, the non-compete clause in his contract limited his ability to find work elsewhere, and he was forced to take the graveyard shift at Cleveland's WJW radio where he eventually made history playing the music he called "Rock and Roll."
In the late 1940s, while working at WAKR 1590 AM in Akron, Ohio, Freed met Cleveland record store owner Leo Mintz. Record Rendezvous, one of Cleveland's largest record stores, had begun selling rhythm and blues records. Mintz told Freed that he had noticed increased interest in the records at his store, and encouraged him to play them on the radio. Freed moved to Cleveland in 1951, still under a non-compete clause with WAKR. However, in April, through the help of William Shipley, RCA's Northern Ohio distributor, he was released from the non-compete clause. He was then hired by WJW radio for a midnight program sponsored by Main Line, the RCA Distributor, and Record Rendezvous. Freed peppered his speech with hipster language, and, with a rhythm and blues record called "Moondog" as his theme song, broadcast R&B hits into the night.
Mintz proposed buying airtime on Cleveland radio station WJW 850 AM, which would be devoted entirely to R&B recordings, with Freed as host. On July 11, 1951, Freed began playing rhythm and blues records on WJW. While R&B records were played for many years on lower powered, inner city radio stations aimed at African-Americans, this is arguably the first time that authentic R&B was featured regularly on a major, mass audience station. Freed called his show "The Moondog House" and billed himself as "The King of the Moondoggers".
He had been inspired by an offbeat instrumental called "Moondog Symphony" that had been recorded by New York street musician Louis T. Hardin, aka "Moondog". Freed adopted the record as his show's theme music. His on-air manner was energetic, in contrast to many contemporary radio presenters of traditional pop music, who tended to sound more subdued and low-key in manner. He addressed his listeners as if they were all part of a make-believe kingdom of hipsters, united in their love for black music. He also began popularizing the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music he played.
Later that year, Freed promoted dances and concerts featuring the music he was playing on the radio. He was one of the organizers of a five-act show called "The Moondog Coronation Ball" on March 21, 1952, at the Cleveland Arena.This event is known as the first rock and roll concert. Crowds attended in numbers far beyond the arena's capacity, and the concert was shut down early due to overcrowding and a near-riot. Freed gained a priceless notoriety from the incident. WJW immediately increased the airtime allotted to Freed's program, and his popularity soared.
In those days, Cleveland was considered by the music industry to be a "breakout" city, where national trends first appeared in a regional market. Freed's popularity made the pop music business take notice. Soon, tapes of Freed's program began to air in the New York City area over station WNJR 1430 (now WNSW), in Newark, New Jersey.
In July 1954, following his success on the air in Cleveland, Freed moved to WINS 1010 AM in New York City. Hardin, the original Moondog, later took a court action suit against WINS for damages against Freed for infringement in 1956, arguing prior claim to the name "Moondog", under which he had been composing since 1947. Hardin collected a $6,000 judgment from Freed, as well as an agreement to give up further usage of the name Moondog. WINS eventually became an around-the-clock Top 40 rock and roll radio station, and would remain so until April 19, 1965—long after Freed left and three months after he had died— when it became an all-news outlet.
In 1956, Freed hosted "Alan Freed's Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party" on CBS Radio from New York. Freed’s life was dramatized in the film “American Hot Wax.”
➦In 1936....What is now known as KFNQ began as KGBS in 1927, changing to KVL in 1928, then KEEN in this date in 1936 and KEVR in 1940.
The station is considered the third oldest radio station in Seattle, the first being KJR, which began broadcasting in 1922, and the second being KOMO, which began in 1926.pioneering Seattle radio station KVL changed its call letters to KEEN.
➦In 1941...We Hold These Truths, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the United States Bill of Rights, aired as an hour-long radio program that explored American values. It was the first show to be broadcast on all four major networks (CBS, NBC Red, NBC Blue, and Mutual) simultaneously.
It was written and produced by Norman Corwin, who won a Peabody Award for the show, which commemorated the ratification of Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791.
The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 — a week before the scheduled broadcast — may have contributed to what the Crossley Rating Service estimated to be 63 million listeners (almost half of the U.S. population), the largest audience in history for a dramatic performance.
The radio program had been commissioned by the United States government under the auspices of the Office of Education, and was scheduled for live broadcast on that date well before the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. When producer Corwin asked on December 7 whether the show was still on, the response wired to him the next day was, "The President thinks it's more important now than ever to proceed with the program."
➦In 1944...The plane carrying Alton Glenn Miller disappeared. He was an American big-band trombonist, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era.
He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best-known big bands. Miller's recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", "Elmer's Tune", and "Little Brown Jug". In just four years Glenn Miller scored 16 number-one records and 69 top ten hits—more than Elvis Presley (38 top 10s) and the Beatles (33 top 10s) did in their careers.
While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.
➦In 1956…Elvis Presley gave his final performance on the "Louisiana Hayride" a weekly show aired by KWKH in Shreveport, Louisian. Elvis made 50 appearances.
➦In 1957…Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller and entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. disparaged rock 'n' roll as "the comic books of music" during a radio talk show hosted by Davis. Another guest on the radio show, Arnold Maxim, president of the MGM record label, disagreed with them saying he saw no end to the fad in the near future.
➦In 1966...Walt (Walter Elias) Disney died in Burbank at age 65. Disney had been a heavy smoker since World War I. He did not use cigarettes with filters and had smoked a pipe as a young man. In November 1966, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. On November 30 he felt unwell and was taken to St. Joseph Hospital where, on December 15, ten days after his 65th birthday, he died of circulatory collapse caused by lung cancer. Disney's remains were cremated two days later, and his ashes interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
➦In 1988..."The Godfather of Soul," James Brown, was sentenced to six years in prison for failing to stop for police during a two-state car chase. He was released in 1990 on probation.
|John R Gambling|
When WOR ended Rambling with Gambling in 2000 after 75 years on the air, John R. Gambling moved up the dial to WABC, taking over the post-morning-drive 10 a.m. - noon slot. Gambling was fired by WABC on February 29, 2008 in a cost-cutting move. On April 30, 2008, WOR announced the return of John R. Gambling to its air waves in his old morning-drive timeslot starting May 5, 2008.
On December 20, 2013 John R. Gambling did his last morning show on WOR after announcing his retirement from broadcasting. He and his wife of 37 years Wendy retired to Florida ending a run of over 80 years during which the Gamblings were a staple of mornings on New York Radio.
On April 14, 2014 Gambling returned to New York radio on WNYM 970 AM weekdays from 11:00AM to 1:00PM.
|Rufus Thomas At WDIA|
He recorded for several labels, including Chess Records and Sun Records in the 1950s, before becoming established in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records. He is best known for his novelty dance records, including "Walking the Dog" (1963), "Do the Funky Chicken" (1969) and "(Do the) Push and Pull" (1970).
He began his career as a tap dancer, vaudeville performer, and master of ceremonies in the 1930s. He later worked as a disc jockey on radio station WDIA 1070 AM in Memphis, both before and after his recordings became successful. He remained active into the 1990s and as a performer and recording artist was often billed as "The World's Oldest Teenager". He was the father of the singers Carla Thomas (with whom he recorded duets) and Vaneese Thomas and the keyboard player Marvell Thomas.